Retiring Baltimore Ravens Star Ray Lewis Joins ESPN

Fresh off last month's Super Bowl win, the Baltimore Ravens' controversial linebacker Ray Lewis is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst.

ESPN issued the following press release Wednesday:

Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 12-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis, who ended his legendary NFL career by helping the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII last month, is joining ESPN as a NFL studio analyst.  The two-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer will appear on Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown and SportsCenter, while also contributing to ESPN’s annual Super Bowl coverage.

Lewis will travel to the site of each week’s Monday Night Football game where he will offer analysis alongside Stuart Scott, Hall of Famer Steve Young and his former Ravens teammate Trent Dilfer during the pre-game Countdown and post-game SportsCenter. Lewis will contribute to Sunday NFL Countdown throughout the season and make a weekly appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. The 17-year NFL veteran will also have the opportunity to host specials similar to Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series. He is expected to start on August 1.

“Ray is a tremendous addition to our NFL roster and he will have an immediate impact on our coverage,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production. “One of the most accomplished players in NFL history, fans will be drawn to his knowledge, experience and, of course, the passion he always exudes for the game.”

Lewis added: “ESPN is such a big part of how fans watch and experience sports, especially the NFL, so I’m excited to join their team.  I’m ready to bring the same level of passion to this next phase of my life as I brought to the field during my years as a player. I can’t wait to work with my new teammates, many of whom I’ve already known for years.”

Not surprisingly, the press release said nothing about the January 2000 fight that resulted in Lewis being indicted for murder and aggravated assault.

In June of that year, he agreed to plea guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for testifying against his two co-defendants and a sentence of 12 months probation.

This made him a controversial figure in the NFL.

Apparently he's not too controversial for ESPN.

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